‘It’s hard to resist.’
He had no reason to resist.
Of course, he knew that these items were no ordinary kind.
They looked far more dangerous than the goods he could usually get. The energy felt from the boots was thick and evil as if they were really supposed to be worn by demons. The energy was poking at Fowaru’s skin.
However, he couldn’t hesitate about absorbing them because of that either.
It’s been a while since he got Legendary-rate items like these. On top of that, these appeared to be on the high-end of the armor class.
If he just enjoyed them with his eyes only, then he would not be called Fowaru the ferocious eater.
He slowly put his hands toward the boots.
He picked up one of the Duke Demon Boots and brought it toward his gigantic mouth.
‘I wouldn’t succumb to its energy, right?’
The thought crossed his mind. However, he decided to eat it anyway.
Unlike other ferocious eaters, Fowaru had suppressed his instinct for over thousand years.
If he was so weak minded that he would have succumbed to this level of malevolent energy, then Fowaru would have gone insane long time ago and ran amok, meeting his end by the hands of the Act 2’s managers.
Fowaru opened his mouth wide.
Using his razor-sharp teeth, he started to chew and eat the item.
His mouth continued to move.
He had satisfied smile.
He looked like a homeless who got to have a lavish meal for the first time in his life. He appeared to be in the state of bliss as he ate the Duke Demon’s Boots.
He was being extremely careful so that he won’t drop even a small scrap of the item.
In an instant, he finished eating the entire boots. He sighed big.
He was as satisfied as he was back in several decades ago, when Vulcan brought the Legendary-rate bow.
His big smile tore open his mouth to the sides.
‘No… This is even better than that. The taste is powerful, and thrilling… No, it is violent!’
He could still feel the thick taste of the boots in his mouth. He plummeted at the sofa.
Completely relaxed, it looked like he was getting sucked into the sofa.
For a while, he couldn’t get a grip. He looked like a drug addict experiencing high. His face looked like a fool.
It was different from the fake persona he showed to others. It was completely different from his true vicious and violent self.
In such abnormal state, Fowaru spent quite some time. He then suddenly got a grip and stood up.
He looked shocked. It was like a spring jumping up.
It seemed he was experiencing panic, anxiety, greed and hesitation. His face was in chaos as he looked at the remaining boots. Fowaru thought,
‘Huh… Its evil energy is far stronger than I thought. If anything went wrong, I would have lost my mind.’
It was a dangerous situation where he could have lost everything from a moment of indulgence when he had been restraining himself so well for all this time.
It seemed he was determined. With serious look on his face, he picked up the other three pairs of boots and put them in his special storage room.
It looked like he was finally about to calm down a little. He sighed in relief.
He shook his head left and right and said to himself,
“To digest this completely… I think it will take over 10 years.”
Fowaru closed his eyes and thoroughly checked the condition of his body.
Incredible energy entered his body all of sudden.
He wanted to digest this lingering energy in whole immediately. However, unfortunately, this humungous energy contained perilous evil energy.
The malicious energy could have shaken his powerful mental strength temporarily and drove him to the state of a mindless beast.
To perfectly suppress this scheming energy and absorb it, he needed a long time and considerable patience.
‘Of course, someone like me should be able to more than handle this as long as I don’t eat many of them.’
Fowaru was of different caliber from other ancient ferocious eaters whose instincts came before their ability to reason and repeated indiscriminate consumption and slaughter.
Fowaru’s mental strength to restraint himself was way beyond the others. Through this, he had endured the temptation for over a thousand years.
If he couldn’t even resist the temptation of the Duke Demon’s Boots, he couldn’t have made this far.
‘I’ll absorb them one at a time every 15 years.’
Having thought this far, he promptly stopped thinking about the Duke Demon’s Boots.
He then thought about the man who brought these items to him. Fowaru crumpled his face.
Fowaru was extremely shocked to see Vulcan when he visited the store again.
He appeared to have grown substantially stronger than before.
Vulcan was not showing off his power at the moment, so Fowaru could not tell exactly, but Fowaru’s sharp senses were telling him that Vulcan’s abilities were beyond comparison to his former self.
‘Bae Su Jin… I’ve heard that he survived the violent battle against them, but… This is above my expectations.’
Of all beings, humans were the beings with lowest potential for growth.
Of the humans, the Players were infamous for lacking talent. Vulcan’s growth rate was defying the common sense. It was unbelievable that Vulcan was in fact a Player.
Of course, thanks to this, Vulcan survived without being hunted down by other bastards. This was a good thing for Forwaru, who was also interested in catching Vulcan. However…
‘Now that he had gotten this strong… I guess this means I should assume that catching him through normal methods will be impossible.’
To start with, now that a gigantic organization named Bae Su Jin butted into the battle to hunt down Vulcan, a lot of Fowaru’s plan had gone wrong. Also, a bigger variable was now introduced to the plan. However, Fowaru had no intention of giving up Vulcan.
Fowaru was an ancient ferocious eater. He was like the god of greed. He was born with the blood of starving demon.
He hated losing the prey he had in mind. It was the third thing he hated the most with death and starvation being the first two above this one.
This was why he was squeezing his brain to come up with a way to snatch up Vulcan when the situation now was looking desperate and warranted only a slim chance.
‘Should I have just ambushed him when he visited here… No. That’s nonsense. As I thought, perhaps I should aim for an opportunity in middle of battle between Vulcan and Bae Su Jin…’
Fowaru agonized over this, and he agonized over this some more afterwards.
However, no matter how hard he thought about it, nothing definite was coming to his mind. Thinking about it must have made him feel stressed.
Fowaru screamed. Frustrated, he opened the storage room, brought out a suitable item and munched on it.
However, such an item was not enough to quench the frustration in him which had caught on fire.
After seething in anger for a long while, Fowaru slowly looked at a corner.
There were the three items he shoved deep in the storage because he was concerned he might keep on thinking about it.
As if he was possessed, Fowaru was approaching the items. He suddenly gasped for air, pulled himself together and slapped his own cheek hard.
“You foolish runt! It hasn’t even been that long since you decided not to, yet already!”
Fowaru criticized himself big time. With exaggerated motion, he got out of the storage room and locked the door. He actually just got out of the store.
It was because the dark red boots kept on tempting him. They were lingering in his head.
Fowaru got out of the store and breathed in fresh air. He quietly muttered,
“… First, I think I should calm down for a while.”
Fowaru firmed his faltering mind and walked the Espo City’s street.
He was thinking about getting together with his acquaintances for a drink to tame his mind.
His face was hardened, but now, warm smile started to flow there. Before long, Fowaru became a merchant with good-natured looking face.
His steps headed to the pubs.
* * *
20 years passed since Vulcan came back to the Lava Demon Cave.
He hunted the Lava Demons, made time for meals, and went back on sweeping off the Lava Demons before resting for a bit. Vulcan repeated the routine throughout his days in the cave.
He was spending the days like a loser at a game workshop. Feeble voice could be heard from his mouth.
“I am sick of this…”
Same appearance, same roar…
The monsters were charging at him with same pattern. Vulcan was sick of seeing their faces.
Because he was so used to them, he couldn’t even train, and he couldn’t get much experience points either.
He was incredibly bored. The situation now could not be compared to how it was back in the days when Vulcan trained here during his first visit.
However, he had to.
That’s what grinding was.
Vulcan swiftly moved his body and avoided their attacks.
The two Lava Demons were pouring out sharp attacks. They were enough to make one’s face turn pale. However, that was true only for those who encountered them for the first time.
Now, Vulcan had piled up experiences equaling slaying several hundred thousand of them. He was so bored that he was about to yawn.
With sleepy eyes, he glared at one of the Lava Demons and extended out the Thunder God Blade.
Compared to Vulcan’s usual exhilarating speed, it was so slow that it looked like Vulcan was dying from boredom.
However, despite the blade coming in so leisurely, the tip of the blade was placed at the Lava Demon’s critical point.
The cut was so deep that it was almost made the demon’s head just hanging by the threads.
It was an incredible sight to watch. It seemed Vulcan knew every little detail of the demon’s moves.
If there was someone watching this, Vulcan would have received applauses.
However, this was a hidden dungeon with one-person limit. There were only two fully intelligent beings here, just Vulcan and Balgeram. Also, Balgeram was currently dead, killed by Vulcan’s hand. Balgeram was currently in the pathetic state of waiting for the regeneration period to pass.
‘Wait, is that not right? Was today the day of his regeneration?’
While Vulcan was thinking about such useless things, he was not feeling any sense of danger from the battle.
He used the Destructive Core and easily cleaned up the remaining Lava Demon. He marched forward to find the next prey.
“I’m so sick of this. So sick of this. I’m so so sick of this.”
Vulcan couldn’t stop muttering about how he was sick of this.
However, unlike his words, he was chopping down the Lava Demons and collecting the Vitality Marbles very diligently.
Actually, Vulcan wasn’t being serious with his words.
Around the ten years point, Vulcan had been spitting out ‘I’m so sick of them’ from bottom of his heart. However, now, it just became a habit. It was like an old man saying ‘I’ll die when I’m old.’
Nowadays, when Vulcan got bored, he even sang the phrase as if it was the theme song for his labor. Vulcan’s life had reached such state.
‘Of course… I am still sick of this, but…’
He was grinding away out of habit. It was not like he got used to the boredom.
After all, how could a human being get used to boredom?
He continued because he had to. If he rested for the day, then he was going to have to stay in this place for a day longer, so he was forcing himself to continue. The thought of wanting to just run out of this place had never left Vulcan’s mind.
However, Vulcan knew better than anyone that he couldn’t.
Vulcan slapped his cheeks with his two hands and grabbed a hold of his faltering resolve.
Like that, again, Vulcan spent the day as always like a forced labor at a coal mine. He was enduring yet another tough day.
Countless Lava Demons were either pancaked by the Destructive Core or had their head chopped off by the Thunder God Blade.
In addition, Baloc’s Whip was swung once in a while as practices.
The Lava Demon Forces were being cleaned off like fragile autumn leaves in the wind, and Vulcan watched them with emotionless eyes.
Vulcan stopped walking. He was at the end of the Lava Demon Cave.
He arrived at the Repent Room where Belgeram the Demon Duke, the boss monster of this place, was at.
Although it was only a little bit, there was a bit of vitality going through Vulcan’s eyes.
“Is the regeneration… complete? I don’t know. I’ll know once I enter.”
If Balgeram was not there, Vulcan just needed to get out of the room.
Vulcan kicked opened the boss room’s door and looked inside the stone room.
Fortunately for Vulcan, Balgeram was regenerated.
Like always, he was sealed. The Duke Demon Balgeram was glaring toward Vulcan.
Vulcan was feeling a lot better. He called Balgeram in loud voice,
“Hey! I wondered what I was going to do if you had not been regenerated yet, but you were already here? I’m so glad!”
Belgeram’s voice was full of fury. It completely filled the stone room.
However, Vulcan could not care less.
It was obvious why Belgeram hated Vulcan. Like a clockwork, Vulcan came and sliced and diced every time Balgeram was regenerated.
Vulcan thought he would have felt and acted the same as Belgeram if he was in Belgeram’s shoes.
However, that didn’t matter at all to Vulcan.
To Vulcan, what mattered was that he could face another intelligent being.
Besides Dokgo Hoo, the one who Vulcan summoned once in a blue moon, Belgeram was the only other conversation partner that Vulcan had, so Vulcan was happy to talk to him.
“I’m sorry… I think I’ll have to stay here for a bit longer. It is not like me, but I lied. I am sorry.”
“What kind of action?”
“I am sorry… but there are too many bastards out there who are out to bite me. While I raise up my power, let me be in your debt for a while here.”
Infuriated and about to lose it, Belgeram shouted.
“Um… I don’t have anyone besides you for a conversation here… So, can we talk for five more minutes before starting? That procedure or whatnot.”
Listening to Vulcan’s utter nonsense, Balgeram’s face petrified like a statue.
Dumfounded, he glared at Vulcan. It seemed Belgeram resigned himself to the fate. He closed eyes.
‘Looks like he had gone completely nuts from being trapped here for so long.’